SGA shares goals for next semester
Updated: Apr 26
By Emily Rosenberg
SGA shared concerns about unwelcoming student organizations and hosted their 2023 Candidates’ Night during their April 11 meeting.
During the open forum, President Dara Barros read a message that was placed in one of SGA’s concern boxes. The concern addressed an issue a student is having involving interactions with a member of the Fashion Club.
“Every time I've gone to the club, this particular member has never been welcoming or inclusive, and they seem to not enjoy being there,” Barros read from the note. She added that the student wrote that she was “brushed off” by this member when trying to ask questions at an engagement fair, but the member was answering questions for everyone else.
“I will say this is a student of color,” Barros said.
Student Trustee McKenzie Ward brought up an issue regarding an incident when she was sitting outside with a professor and a student passed by who needed to use the elevator in May Hall to get to their classes, but was only informed that the elevator was not working after Ward and the professor spoke to them.
She said it is necessary that the University is more communicative when elevators are broken down or are experiencing issues.
Ward said she found an empty classroom via 25Live on a ground-level floor for the class to meet. “But not every student has those resources,” Ward said, referring to 25Live, a room-reservation website.
She said she suggested to Executive Vice President Dale Hamel sending out a campus-wide email to inform faculty and students about these issues so proper arrangements can be made in a timely manner.
SGA also held their Candidates’ Night, which provided time for people running for 2023-24 eBoard and senator roles to give speeches about why they deserve their positions.
Evelyn Campbell, current outreach and events coordinator, said she was running for SGA president.
Campbell said having grown up as a child of divorce, she believes her mother instilled in her strong leadership values. She said as a first-generation student, she believes she can accurately represent students on campus.
“However, I can't speak for every single person at FSU, which is why my first goal as president is to further diversify SGA. I want everyone in the student body to be able to relate to at least one person here on SGA,” she added.
Ryan Mikelis said he was running for student trustee. He is a junior political science major, a Rams engagement ambassador, the vice president of the commuter student group, and an upcoming senior orientation leader.
He said he believes these roles have not only benefited his public speaking skills, personal confidence, and campus knowledge, but have also led him to spend a lot of his time with various faculty and administrators. Therefore, the transition into the role would be swift.
“Whether it be the Admissions Office, dean's office, student experience office or any other place on campus, you can guarantee that I will be at their door ready to bring to them the student perspective,” Mikelis said.
Vice President Raffi Elkhoury said he was rerunning for his position. Elkhoury said his goals for next year are to make anti-racism a true priority at SGA and every facet of the campus, as well as continue the work with the President’s Council.
Liv West, a freshman senator, said she was running for outreach and events coordinator. She said as a senator, she has looked up to the upperclassmen in SGA, and working with the organization has become her calling at FSU.
Sophomore senators Billy Hubert and Dillon Riley reran for their positions. Junior Senator Ben Boyer also reran for his role.
During the President’s report, Barros said she met with Jeffrey Coleman, vice president of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, as well as Eric Gustafson vice president of Development and Alumni Relations and will be meeting with Meg Nowak Borego, dean of students.
In the Secretary’s Report, Mark Haskell said that some senators have not been holding their office hours. He said while some senators do them every week, there have been others who are consistently missing hours.
SGA office hours are 1-2 hours in which senators and eBoard members must spend time dedicated to assigned tasks or in the SGA office ready to greet students.
In the Treasurer’s Report, SATF Treasurer Sam Houle said the Finance Committee will meet on April 14 to confirm a funding request from Christian Fellowship.
In the Outreach and Events Report, Campbell encouraged senators to attend the All University Banquet on April 19.
In the Advisor’s Report, Gina Pacitto, SGA advisor, said The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development (SILD) has officially been rebranded and will now be referred to as the Center for Student Experience or the “EXP” for short. This includes their email and social media outlets.
She added, “The EXP is always here and always has an open door and we would like to make sure that everybody is aware of that.”
Senator of the month was awarded to Andrew “Andy” Thompson. Barros nominated him for his significant collaboration allowing FSAB and SGA to host events.
The U-Rock was passed to Ward by Haskell for her efforts in organizing the Administrators’ Forum.
[Editor’s Note: As of press time, all those who ran were elected to their positions and one person was written into the role of senator. The roles of SATF treasurer, secretary, and diversity and inclusion officer are unfilled at this time, according to Dara Barros. ]
[Editor's Note: This article was originally published with an error. Ryan Mikelis' name was originally spelled "Mikeles." This is incorrect. We apologize for this error.]